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Cucumber and Cilantro Yogurt Dip

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

In Indian cuisine, this dip is referred to as raita, and it is served with spicy foods. The coolness of the dairy is refreshing and goes well with everything from crudités to chips and spicy kebabs. Draining the yogurt of its excess moisture thickens the dip but does require that you start this dish one day ahead.

Make-ahead: This dip can be made up to 24 hours ahead and kept, covered and refrigerated.

Tip: It is easy to seed a cucumber with the curved edge of a spoon. Simply cut the cucumber lengthwise to expose the seeds, and scrape them out.

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Type of Dishdipping sauce, sauces

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain whole yogurt
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and coarsely grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Crudités or pita wedges, for serving

Instructions

Line a fine-mesh strainer with a double thickness of cheesecloth that has been rinsed and squeezed dry. Pour the yogurt into the strainer and place the strainer over a bowl to catch the liquid. (Make sure that the bottom of the strainer is high enough so that the liquid won’t reach the strainer as it drains.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, discarding the liquid.

Mix the grated cucumber, salt, and garlic and place in a strainer over a bowl to catch the juice. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Discard the juice.

In a large bowl, combine the drained yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, cilantro, and pepper. Squeeze the cucumber dry and add to the yogurt. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

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